Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Are You A Creator or a Destroyer?

PROVERBS 18:9
A lazy person is as bad as
someone who destroys things.


1) As image bearers of God, we were made to be creators. We create with our hands, with our actions, with our words, etc.

2) Creating takes action. Lazy people don't create anything (victimhood and apathy are synonymous with laziness).

3) What you create doesn't have to be tangible or physical. You might create joy or peace for someone else. You might create hope by meeting the need of your neighbor. We all have different gifts which enable us to be creative in different ways.

4) What will you create today?

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

You Can't Fix Everything For Everyone. But You Can Do Something.

PROVERBS 12:25
Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down,
but a good word makes him glad.

Stop.

Before you do you anything else, find a piece of paper or a sticky note or a notebook or something you can write on. Now, write down the names of three people you know you will see today.

You have no idea what is going in these people's hearts. You may know some of the situations they are dealing with. You may understand some of their hurts and some of their joys. But you don't know it all. None of us do.

Something is causing anxiety in these people. You may have an idea of what it is. You may not have a clue.

None of us can know everything that is going on in the hearts of the people around us.

What we all CAN DO, is offer a good word to everyone we encounter.


If you aren't sure how to offer a good word to someone else, here are ten suggestions:

  • encourage
  • compliment
  • motivate
  • inspire
  • praise
  • admire
  • appreciate
  • commend
  • congratulate
  • applaud

You can't fix everything for everyone. You can brighten their day and lighten their load by offering a good word.

Go back to your list now. Take a moment and pray for each person on the list. Before you see them today, commit to offering them a good word. If you aren't sure what to say, review the list above and something will come to you.

Jesus said you are the light. Brighten the world of the people around you.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Life Is About More Than Turning A Profit

PROVERBS 10:2
Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit,
but righteousness delivers from death.

I don't watch it much anymore because I don't seem to have time, but when "The Profit" (a tv show about entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis) was first released, I watched almost every episode for a couple of seasons. I was intrigued by Lemonis' approach to business, particularly the firm but compassionate manner in which he dealt with people.

He was also a very good businessman, and he was very successful in turning around family businesses that were failing.

In business, success and failure are measured by a simple standard... PROFIT. If your money is increasing, you are winning. If your money is decreasing, you are losing.


Proverbs 10:2 challenges our understanding of profit. Not all financial (or material) gain is good. Not all who appear successful are righteous. Temporary gain is not the same as an eternal reward.

Jesus had something to say about this in Mark 8. He said, "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?"

My goal today is to pay more attention to people than to profit. I'm going to think more about righteousness than reward. I will try to give more than I get.

Will you join me?

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Try this one simple trick to become a wise person!

PROVERBS 4:7
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
and whatever you get, get insight
.

Becoming a wise person is surprisingly simple. Pursue wisdom.

Wisdom can come from other people such as parents, teachers, friends, and even pastors. More importantly, wisdom comes from God's Word (particularly Proverbs).

I have this picture in my mind of a person who never pursues wisdom and then wonders why life is not going well for them.

Wisdom is not found on the couch in a bag of potato chips. It is not found in a secret level of Fortnite (does Fortnite have levels?). It is not found in the fifteenth episode of whatever Netflix show is being binged.

Solomon began chapter 4 by telling his son to "be attentive." If you don't pay attention, you won't get wise. So pay attention!

I just heard Andy Stanley say, "We get in trouble, not because we don't take advice. We get in trouble because we take OUR OWN advice." Those who don't pay attention, don't gain wisdom. Those who don't gain wisdom, get into trouble.

This is precisely why I read Proverbs every day. I want to get wisdom. I want to get insight. The journey begins by paying attention to what someone else (namely God) has said.

So try reading all of Proverbs 4 today.
Choose one verse as your "wisdom nugget" of the day.
Look for an opportunity to live out the wisdom you've gained.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Don't Cling... Go!

JOHN 20:17 - go find my brothers and tell them.

When you have good news, you love to tell people. Couples go to incredible ends to create elaborate pregnancy/gender reveal parties. Parents love to brag on their children. Major accomplishments are nearly as much fun if they are kept secret.

Jesus' resurrection was the best news ever. He didn't want anyone to keep it a secret.

When Mary saw Jesus, her first inclination was to embrace Him. That is good. Closeness with Jesus is important. But Jesus had a more important task for her. He said, "Don't cling... GO!"

We ought to embrace Jesus and seek closeness with Jesus. We do this through personal study, prayer, meditation. We get closer to Him by attending church services and small group meetings.

But Jesus has a more important task for us. He doesn't want us to cling, He wants us to GO!

Who will you tell about Jesus' resurrection today?

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Take Heart!

John 16:33: "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

When I read these words this morning, I immediately thought of Joshua 1. God came to the new leader of Israel and in spite of the daunting task being faced by Joshua, God said, "Be strong and courageous." Joshua "took heart", brought down the walls of Jericho and conquered the promised land.

Then I started thinking about other examples of courage in the Bible. I remembered Gideon, who was hiding in a cave when God found him. With the power of God behind him, Gideon "took heart", tore down the idols and defeated the enemies of God with a greatly inferior army.

I remembered David, who "took heart" and took down the giant.

I thought about Daniel, who "took heart", continued to pray and became the world's greatest lion tamer.

I looked at the list of people in Hebrews 11 who all "took heart" and lived by faith.

Then I said a short prayer of thanksgiving that God has already won the victory. Now, I'm going to "take heart" and go out and live for Him in spite of this world's trouble.

Join me?

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled

JOHN 14:1 - Let not your hearts be troubled.

Research confirms that anxiety, stress and depression are at an all time high. People (maybe you) find themselves at the point of despair far too often. Fear, worry, concern, uneasiness, tension and nervousness have become defining words. On any given day, as many as half of the people you encounter have troubled hearts.

Perhaps you have a troubled heart?

Our hearts are troubled because we want everyone around us to think well of us. Our hearts are troubled because we want everyone around us to agree with us. Our hearts are troubled because there is not enough to get by. Our hearts are troubled because we have too much to handle. Our hearts are troubled by the decisions of others. Our hearts are troubled by the consequences of our own decisions. Our hearts are troubled because we don't measure up.

Do I need to go on?



It's not just a political thing, but politics contribute to our troubled hearts. It's not just a "fake news" thing, but the constantly negative news cycle contributes to our troubled hearts. It's not just a social media thing, but never-ending quest for other's approval (likes, shares, follows) contributes to our troubled hearts.

I think the number one reason our hearts are troubled is that we estimate the moment we are in is far more meaningful than it actually is.

When you hear the name "Job", you think of suffering don't you? He was a guy whose heart was certainly troubled, right? Scholars estimate that the suffering of Job, as described in the Bible, lasted between 9 months and a year. I can imagine that in the middle of that moment, Job's heart was heavy.

But do you know what the last two verses of Job say?

And after this Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, four generations. And Job died, an old man, and full of days. (Job 42:16-17)

That expression "full of days" is similar to what we mean after Thanksgiving dinner when we say, "I'm full." It hints at satisfaction, pleasantness or contentment. Imagine that. Once Job made it through the moment of suffering, he experienced a full and content life. The moment wasn't nearly as meaningful as it felt.

Whatever is going on around you today, let not your heart be troubled. This too will pass.